Thursday, June 10, 2010

Sustainable Food Going Mainstream

Sustainable Food has been the step-child in foods for a long time, but since Michael Pollan's best selling book The Omnivore's Dilemma in 2006 hit the stands, more folks are embracing the idea that growing food in ways that improve human health, improve the environment, improve the soil, and improve communities is the best way to improve 'agriculture', and help renew the American spirit.

The step into the mainstream was just last month, when Time Magazine listed their "100 Most Influential People in the World" and it included four thinkers and doers of the sustainable food movement.

The four are Michael Pollan; Will Allen, Milwaukee Urban Farmer; Temple Grandis, renowned for animal science, welfare and autism rights... and Kathleen Merrigan, Deputy Director, USDA and an organic food expert.

Michael Pollan was the only really familiar name. I admit I had to look up the other three to see what made them outstanding enough to merit being in the Top 100 world-wide. 

Will Allen probably stands out the most to me because of where he is doing his work... not just urban, but inner-city, recognizing that the unhealthy diets of low-income, urban populations (and related health problems like obesity and diabetes) are largely attributable to limited access to safe and affordable fresh fruits and vegetables. He doesn't just feed them... he engages them in neighborhood gardens, educational workshops, internships and more.


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